6 And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together. 7 And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering? 8 And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.
I wonder if Abraham understood the significance of his phrase “God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering.” Was he aware that he was foreshadowing the coming savior? I would assume not, as otherwise he would have had a reason to assume that God would prevent him from actually slaying his son.
And, of course, there is another foreshadowing of the savior here as well. Abraham taking the wood and laying it on his son is a type for Jesus bearing his own cross to the slaughter. It seems as though Abraham and Isaac are putting on a highly elaborate pageant of Jesus’ sacrifice, all while being totally oblivious to the fact that that is what they are doing!
How many times do we recreate these legendary stories in our own lives without realizing it either? I believe we many times point back to key events in the past, or key events in the future, totally ignorant of the significance of what it is we do, just as how the Roman guards who crucified the savior “knew not what they did.” We rehearse these gospel keystones because we, like Abraham and Isaac, are guided into them by the great, all-knowing storyteller.